Welcome to your April LBA update. We hope that 2013 is continuing to be a good year for you all. Please may we remind you that our members are our number one priority. If, at the LBA, we can in anyway offer you help, assistance or guidance then please do not hesitate to contact us. This edition contains important information regarding a change in the laws in respect of driving licences. We are often asked what we do on a day to day bases at the LBA, so we have included information about the typical meetings that President, Danny attends. Enjoy your update and as ever we would welcome your comments.

Good news We have a new business member L.I.L.S.
Lanzarote´s International Language School. Located in Puerto del Carmen, with good parking facilities. Improve or learn a new language, English, Spanish, German and French. Special Children´s Club every Saturday, offering activities and games in English. They will offer a special discount to all LBA members, family, friends and staff. Spacious, bright, airy classrooms offering individual or group lessons.Located behind C.C.Costa Luz, opposite Hotel San Antonio Address: Calle Suecia 22, Puerto del Carmen, 35510.

Contact Martine for further details. Telephone (0034) 928 528 454
Email: lilslanzarote@gmail.com Facebook: AcademiaLILS

Problems on the Beaches of Puerto del Carmen
The company that has been supplying the service of cleaning and providing sunbeds, umbrellas and the lifeguards on the beaches of Puerto del Carmen (Servicios Canarios en Playas, Secapla) unfortunately removed the beds and umbrellas just before the Easter weekend. They also suspended the lifeguards and cleaning services. They had previously informed the authorities that this action would be carried out on April 1st. The contract is alleged to have been gained by “tender “and was not due to expire till 2017 and it seems that although they should have, the company failed to pay the required fees. When the Supreme Court announced that the company had to pay the “canon” they announced that they would remove the sunbeds and stop services on 1st April. The Tias council held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 2nd April; to discuss what action needed to be taken. We understand that they have now asked for new tenders to be submitted and expect the problem to be resolved by June. The local authorities have hired staff to cover the needs of lifeguards in Matagorda, Los Pocillos and Puerto del Carmen. They apologise to the tourists and residents who have suffered the consequences of this untimely problem.

Driving Licenses As you may be aware in 2009 there were approved new rules in respect of driving in Spain. These laws stated that as of 19th January 2013 all European residents who live in Spain needed to have a Spanish driving license or register their European driving licence at Trafico. Anyone having the old style UK paper licence would have to exchange it for a Spanish licence. Anyone having the new plastic style UK driving licence would need to register it at Trafico providing it had more than a year before expiring, in which case it could be changed to a Spanish licence. It is we are told a legal requirement to either have a Spanish driving licence or to register your existing UK licence at Trafico. Failure to do so could result in a fine if stopped by the police. We have been to Trafico and gone through the procedure so that we can give you first-hand knowledge of what to do. Address: Carretera de los Mármoles, 5 Arrecife,( main road where IKEA is situated ) (0034)34 928 80 20 30 www.dgt.es

The first thing you need to do is go to Trafico. Take with you your driving license, residencia,passport and money. On entering take a ticket from the machine on the right hand side. Normally a security guard is around if you have any problems. When your number is called go to the counter and explain that you want to register your licence (or exchange) your license. They do speak a little English but if in doubt take a translator with you. The staff will give you a form to complete, together with the form showing what information you need to have.

Once you have completed your form, you then need to go across the road to the medical centre. At the reception hand your papers to the staff they will check them and enter them onto the computer, they will then tell you to take a seat and wait till your name is called. When called you will be seen and have your photograph taken. You will then have to take two coordination/ reaction tests. These are fairly simple. You will then go back to the waiting area and wait to be called again. When called you will go into another room and will be asked a number of general medical questions, height, weight, any medical conditions etc. Your will then have a very short eye test followed by a hearing test. You will then return to the waiting area and wait to be called back to the reception desk. When called the staff will give you your papers and at this stage you will have to pay. We paid €57 to register a licence. You will then go back across the road to Trafico. When entering take another ticket, whilst waiting you can go to the caja (cash desk) and pay another fee €8.17. When your number is called return to the counter, you will need to give the forms from the medical centre to the staff and they will require to see your documents again. They will then make copies and give you the green copy of the form. They will inform you that the paperwork will be sent to the DVLC and that Trafico will contact you in approximately 6 weeks, normally by email to inform you that your paperwork is ready to collect. You will need to keep the green copy they give you (until you receive the new paperwork) together with your insurance details etc in your vehicle in case stopped by the police. We have to say the whole process although lengthy, in our case just over 2.5 hours was extremely easy and painless. We have to note, that the staff particularly in the medical centre were extremely friendly and pleasant. The main problem seems to be the waiting around time, which can obviously vary depending on how busy they are. If anyone would like further information, help or translation services then please do not hesitate to contact us.

LBA Meetings As President of the LBA Danny´s role is non paid. As well as his normal LBA duties and meetings with members to offer advice and assistance he also attends many additional meetings, during March he met with the following;
Jose-Juan Cruz Saavedra, ex Mayor of Tias and representing the socialist party PSOE, also called PSC Partido Socialista Canario. During March Danny had three meetings with him. The topics they discussed, in brief were Empadronamiento, how to make the registration process quicker and easier, and move people onto the voting list. The forthcoming legislation for holiday rentals. The lack of services and amenities for foreigners on the island and the poor level of integration for foreigners into the Canarian island systems.

Meeting with Oswaldo Betancort, Mayor of Teguise, on four occasions. As Teguise is such a large area it was necessary for continued talks, taking in all areas from Graciosa to Teguise. Discussions included the continued plans and progress for Costa Teguise. Security in the borough, Danny believes it is vital that it should be made easy to report complaints, thefts etc and apply denuncias. The local police force should have a number of multi lingual staff to deal with the large number of foreigners. Famara should be promoted more widely to highlight its fantastic strengths, from surfing to walking and its eco friendly environment. The market in Teguise needs to change with the times. More interaction is needed, not just with the stalls but it needs something more to attract a different clientele, entertainment, live theatre; the whole product needs to be commercialised. Also included in the talks was Lourdes Cabrera Councillor of Commerce in Teguise. They discussed how careful consideration was needed when preparing the dinamization plans, similar to those done for Tias. Danny highlighted that they should not just take into account what looks good but how it can benefit everybody by developing at a steady rate, with sustainable income. It requires major input in terms of ideas, suggestions, recommendations, finances, and is a project for the people. Everyone should be involved, at the start and on the journey. Also discussed with Lourdes Cabrera was the design of plans to help with business licenses in Costa Teguise.
Two meetings with Nerea Santana head of Tourism for Tias.Topics included how to promote the image of Lanzarote in 2013.

Meeting with David de la Hoz. David is the new Secretario General of Coalicion Canaria in Lanzarote. Danny made him aware of the many problems and challenges that the foreign community has on the island, and the difficulty to fully integrate. They discussed how important it was to take into consideration the needs of all residents and how they should be involved in the future plans, and improvements for the island. David stated that the meeting had left him feeling energized and optimistic as quite often his meetings are with people who have very negative points of view, and he said it was good to meet with someone who is positive and forward thinking.

Meeting with Francisco Aparicio, Concejal de Festejos, Tráfico, Transporte, Limpieza, Jardines, Protección Civil, Agricultura, Ganadería y Deportes in Tias. Discussion on promotion of Lanzarote for winter sports, such as basketball, football etc. Lanzarote has great facilities that are under used.

Meeting with Carmen Gonzalez, from the Coalicion Canaria and Vice Mayoress of San Bartolome. They discussed how many foreigners there were in the borough that were not using or did not have access to the Town Hall, (Ayuntamiento.) They also talked about the new legislation coming out that required a borough to have a minimum population and that without the required number the borough would lose its independent status. This would be detrimental to individual boroughs and it is in everyone’s interest to keep the status at a local level otherwise services would diminish.
Meeting with Maria Dolores Corujo Berriel, Secretaria Insular Socialist Party and Mayoress of San Bartolome. Discussions included the lack of services for people in the borough, for both businesses and residents, and social exclusion from many facilities and services.

It is predicted by la Federación de Empresarios de Hostelería y Turismo that tourism figures for the first 6 months of 2013, are expected to show a decrease of around 50%. Subsidies provided to the seat-only airlines,i.e. budget airlines have been cutback. The Patronato de Turism now allows everyone to contribute and decide where that money can be spent. The hotels will of course support the tour operators and related airline companies. Now is an ideal time to operate as a collective and secure a significant number of seat-only flights. Over 30,000 Europeans need to fly back and forth and a contribution is needed from every European community to secure seats and dictate our future. If the money is not there to subsidise low cost airlines they will stop coming.

At a recent meeting with Hector Fernadez, head of Patronato,it was reiterated that we need to change; how can we change? Contribute and make your own choices.

Anyone wanting to know more about these meetings or about contributing towards the subsidies can contact us at the LBA email lanzaroteba@gmail.com

Tias Arrest for Alleged Fraud. A 45 year old woman was arrested in Tias, in February by the Guardia Civil for alleged fraud. It is alleged that the woman known only as TJPR had falsely received more than a million euro’s from 17 people. It is understood that the 17 people were from Europe and included a number of Irish and at least one English person. It is said that the fraud occurred through the purchase of properties made via two estate agents that the accused owned. It is thought that the accused received substantial amounts of money in order to purchase properties. The investigation began after a number of complaints were received and the Judicial Police of Guarda Civil began the operation in September 2012. This is a sad fact, please be extremely careful when purchasing property, always use an established reliable agent. Please contact the LBA if you need any property advice.

Property Owners As you will be aware there is a law that is currently being debated in the Canarian Parliament, in respect of villa rentals. This law is due to be announced before 31st May. Once this information has been released we shall be in contact with everyone that has property registered with us.

Tax Advice Need help with your tax returns or general accounting advice?
Remember we have a business member who can help with all your accounting requirements, contact us for further information.

Need to hire a car? Then choose LBA members Omnicars. They are a well established family run business with over 20 years of experience of life in Lanzarote. Their meet and greet service is exceptional and they understand that you quickly want to be on your way to your destination. They offer a 24 hour emergency contact to an English speaking person. Their fleet of vehicles is highly maintained with your comfort and safety in mind, and if that’s not enough they offer special rates to LBA members. Contact Omnicars Lanzarote Telephone: (0034) 928 524 275 Email: info@omnicarslanzarote.com Website: www.omnicarslanzarote.com

Meeting with Teguise Mayor, Oswaldo Betancort
The Ayuntamiento of Teguise has announced that there will be a meeting on Thursday 11th April, at 8.00p.m. The venue is the CEIP Costa Teguise. We understand that there will be an opportunity to raise any questions and concerns you many have.

Intercambio idiomas
More great news, we now have intercambio in Playa Blanca starting Thursday 18th April, then meeting every Thursday at La Bocaina Terrace Bar and Restaurant between11.00 – 12.30.Our free language exchange sessions are a great way to improve your Spanish/ English in relaxed and friendly environments. We also meet every Tuesday at the Dolphin Inn, Costa Teguise, every Wednesday at the Chill Bar Oasi, in Playa Honda, and every Friday at Picnic, Puerto del Carmen. These sessions are from 4.30 – 6.00. There is a good mix of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Please contact us for further information. Email lanzaroteba@gmail.com

Thunderbolt Charity Have a great night out and support the charity Boxing night for the Ninos del Tercer Mundo Charity, on Saturday April 13th at Titio`s in Puerto del Carmen, where local men and women from the island, including LBA member Geraldine Mc Fadden, will compete against each other in a white collar boxing night, with all proceeds going to the charity…… so why not go along and support them and have a great night in the process. Tickets are 20€ and are available now. Telephone: 676 509 443. If you are unable to make the event, then why not make a donation to help these children in Kenya get an education and get a better life, you can donate via the Niños del Tercer Mundo web site via paypal at www.ntmlanzarote.org

April 23rd. We have been asked by Tias Ayuntamiento to help with the organising of an event for St Georges Day. This has been planned for Saturday 20th April at Montana Tropical, in Puerto del Carmen. We are at present awaiting permission for this event and once confirmed details will be published on our websitewww.lanzarotebusinessassociation.com/old-backup

A World Wide Activity on Lanzarote Writing clubs and writing groups can be found all over the world. It is an immensely popular activity for would-be serious writers and people who just want to have a go; retired folk who want keep their mind active and some who just enjoy the company. There has been a Creative Writing Group, founded by Affiliate member Sue Almond, on the island of Lanzarote since 2005 and as of March 2013 there are still some of the original members taking part. They meet every Friday morning in Costa Teguise. People come and go as circumstances and work schedules change; swallows, who only spend half the year here, leave and return again next year; sometimes people who are on holiday join for just a week or two. Two visitors, Trish Maw, a short story writer, whose first novel came out on 27 February 2013 and Karin Rick, a successful Austrian author, are now Visitors on the Blog: writersend.com You can find details of their work on the blog. A published poet from Wales and a writer of soaps, who has written for Coronation Street, are also amongst the many guest speakers they have had at the meetings. They really enjoy having some new faces and fresh ideas so anyone on holiday who would like to join them is more than welcome to get in touch and go along. If you are a complete beginner who would like to give it a try or an experienced writer at any level, they would be happy to meet you. The constant variety and changing combinations of participant, means there are always fresh perspectives and input. The discussions that follow writing exercises change in character and the work never gets repetitive or stale. They are planning to introduce a second group, to begin soon in Puerto del Carmen. It will actually be the fourth group as Sue ran a junior group for 9 – 14 year olds, for a couple of years and hopes to find a suitable venue to start another group for youngsters soon. She also tried a ten week evening course for a small number of keen people who could not come to morning sessions. But you can stay in touch, join in and find out more about what they do by looking at their Blog: writersend.com where you will find lots of tips and advice about writing, descriptions of the writing sessions, fun activities and a new monthly Free Story Writing Competition which you can enter, on line, from anywhere in the world. You can find Sue, and her blogging partner Marc on Facebook at WritersEnd Creative Writing or at (0034) 630 751 106.

Members May we please remind you that out Business Members offer a great range of services, from Photographers, Locksmiths, Estate Agents, Wedding and Event Planners, Bars, Printers, Restaurants, Property Management, Surf and Dive Schools, Language Academy and many other types of business. Please see our business directory on the LBA website www.lanzarotebusinessassociation.com/old-backup and remember, the majority of them offer discounts to fellow LBA members.

As always we hope that you have enjoyed our update and would welcome any comments or items of interest you would like included in future editions.

Best wishes
Danny, Silvia and Rita